I have known Notebook editor/publisher Paul Socolar forever. I recall, years ago, the very first Notebooks being dropped off at my neighborhood school, E. M. Stanton Elementary.
In the ensuing years, the Notebook told the E.M. Stanton School story twice as we fought for the school's very life (Stanton successfully averted closure in 2003 and again in 2012). There is no doubt that having the Stanton story covered by the Notebook made a difference in our successful efforts to keep Stanton open as a good neighborhood school option for our kids and beyond!
Over the years, I have often said, "The Notebook consistently provides the best coverage of public education of any newspaper in the region – hands down." The Notebook moved onto the digital and social media stage without missing a beat.
Who among us does not get our public education news first from the Notebook's emails or Facebook page?
Paul has been the head and heart, soul and conscience of this newspaper and community gem from the beginning.
I can't imagine Philadelphia without the Notebook. It's tough to imagine the Notebook without Paul. But the Notebook will be OK, because Paul and many others have created, in addition to a newspaper, a broad-based, grassroots, tell-it-like-it-is coalition of citizens who continue to spend blood, sweat, and tears to keep education – the kind that is solid and sound and excellent for all Philadelphia's children – at the forefront for educators, elected officials, parents, advocates and students.
I wrote my check for "Brunch with Paul" to say thanks again and thereby invest in the Paul Socolar Investigative Reporting Fund. Will you?
Join me in honoring Paul Socolar and the Notebook at "Brunch with Paul" on Nov. 15 at WHYY. Find out more here.
Vicki Ellis is a member of the Supporters of Stanton School, the president of Bainbridge House, and the executive director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships at the School District of Philadelphia.